This will be a multiple part article as the topic of the End Days is one that is filled with many misconceptions and in order to address this topic clearly I believe we need to look at it in full in the light of the scriptures and in light of the condition of the world as we see it today.
We have heard over and over again that the last days are coming. It might surprise you that this has been going on for 2000 years not just lately. The end times were looked for by every generation since the time of Christ. Every generation has said the Lord is coming soon that times are so bad He just has to come back during our lifetime.
We today can look around us and see the condition of our world and wonder is the end time finally going to come because things can't get much worse than they are now. Again, every generation has asked the same question.
The end of days is of course closer now than it has ever been because to us it has been so long since our Savior died for us and promised He would return to take his children home. The fact that it has been some 2000 years since that promise it gives fuel for those who do not believe the scriptures.
Does this mean we should not prepare for the return of Jesus (soon)?
As Paul would say certainly not.
Now more than ever before, all men should prepare for that great and glorious day. All need to be sure their lives are in accordance with the will of God.
I want to attempt to take a step by step approach to properly teaching on this topic. I am going to start with the fact that the bible teaches that no one knows when the return of our Lord will be.
Mat 24:35 The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.
Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not the angels of Heaven, but only My Father.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall be the coming of the Son of Man.
The Lord goes on to explain that just as those during the time of Noah ignored the warning of the flood so will it be with man at the end of days. there will be those who are ready but just as the people didn't believe the flood was going to happen and were caught unaware so will there be those who will not be prepared when He returns.
There will be a day and an hour coming when all men will face the final judgment. Those who are prepared and have lived their lives in accordance to the scriptures will have reason to be joyful and those who haven't will face destruction and damnation.
Joh 5:25 Truly, truly, I say to you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they who hear shall live.
Joh 5:26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have life within Himself,
Joh 5:27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
Joh 5:28 Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice,
Joh 5:29 and shall come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced evil to the resurrection of condemnation.
Peter tells us three things that will happen at the end of time. It will be a day. It will not be an era, millennium, or undistinguished length of time, just one day. Not only is it one day, but is promised to come. "But the day of the Lord will come." We are not left wondering will happen, but when it will happen. Peter goes on to say it will be as "a thief in the night." No man knows when the Lord will come, make no mistake about it!
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up.
This is not something the christian should be afraid of but rather look forward to for we know that our home has been prepared for us in heaven and all the worries, sorrow, cares, pain and sickness will all be over for good.
We will continue this look at the end days in our next article.